Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012 / Wislawa Szymborska 1923-2012

Nothing Twice
(translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak)

Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.

Even if there is no one dumber,
if you’re the planet’s biggest dunce,
you can’t repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.

No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses.

One day, perhaps some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent.

The next day, though you’re here with me,
I can’t help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is it a flower or a rock?

Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It’s in its nature not to stay:
Today is always gone tomorrow.

With smiles and kisses, we prefer
to seek accord beneath our star,
although we’re different (we concur)
just as two drops of water are.

Poem via Alive On All Channels via Poets.org

Valentine's Day first sunlight on a breaking wave at the Lost Coast Webcam


Unknown said...

i wonder if this fabulous woman ever realised her amazingness. did she have an eating disorder? was she happy? 89 years old. i hope to be at peace by then. do you think that you shall be? xxx

am said...

Nicole -- I don't know much about Wislawa Szymborska, but when I look at that photo of her, I do a see an older woman at peace, as much as anyone can be at peace in this world.

This morning when I was having breakfast with my eccentric group of friends, one man quoted something he had heard, "There is no happiness without gratitude." From looking at that photo, I think that Wislawa was someone who was grateful for life, with all its up and downs.

There has been much peace in my life in having freedom from eating disorders. That balances out the many times when I don't feel peaceful. I am more at peace than I ever have been, and my hope is that peace will continue to deepen.

Thank you for your comments. Your blog continues to inspire me!

Anonymous said...

A wonderful poem.